Present Situation

Hello all,

I’ve been browsing the board for a few months and decided to finally stop lurking and discuss my dilemma.

Throughout high school I thought I was going to be a doctor. I took the relevant coursework during high school to prepare me for pre-med, but unfortunately didn’t get the luck of the draw when it came to teachers and it soured me on science. Thus, I decided to follow the family profession and I am currently a 23 year old second-year law student (so not that much of an old pre-med). I received my B.A. in political science and history and, stupidly, took neither relevant science nor math courses (my school didn’t force us liberal arts majors to take serious science courses).

Over the past few months I’ve realized that I should have followed my instinct during high school and gone into medicine. I have realized that I want to actually help people and I don’t believe that law is the way to do this. I’ve applied to a post-bacc program to get the pre-reqs under my belt and hope to apply to medical school after that.

Graduated from undergrad with a 3.2 (not so great), but I’ve been fortunate enough to tend to test very well, so I’m hoping that, between an improved GPA from the post-bacc and a strong MCAT score, I’ll be a potentially acceptable candidate. I unfortunately haven’t had any volunteer work in the medical field or in the sciences, but I’m hoping to be able to do some of that work during post-bacc. I have had a good amount of volunteer experience outside of the medical fields, have worked for a former President of the United States, local governments, and a Fortune 500 corporation, and go to a T-1 law school. Is there any way to spin this into a coherent medical application? Should I be doing anything now, volunteer-wise, to help my application?

Thank you all very much in advance

Volunteer work outside the medical field most definitely counts too! Don’t write that off when it comes time to apply. Also, medical schools want to see evidence of leadership skills – it sounds like you may have demonstrated that in some of your activities. If so, make sure to highlight that fact. I do agree that shadowing is also important. I didn’t have a lot of it myself (about 40 hours). Think of it less as a required activity and more of a way to make sure medicine is really for you. It’s one thing to want to help people; another to peer into someone’s open chest or watch a doctor tell someone that his mother is about to die. Shadowing and medical volunteer work (make sure it includes direct patient experience!) will help with that. When you do shadow, try to shadow in different specialties if you can – get the full flavor of medicine.

Best wishes to you!

I forgot to mention – welcome to OPM! So glad you’ve come out of hiding. :slight_smile:

You can absolutely change fields, I’ve been an Information Technology professional for over a decade and I’m quitting my job and starting medical school myself in July.

If I were in your position, I think I’d finish Law school first. It will give you an interesting insight to a lot of things, and I’d imagine would only help the medical school application. How many lawyers apply to medical school? That’s a pretty impressive thing to have on your app IMO, and could be quite useful as a physician as well. If you drop out before finishing law school, I imagine that leaves you with a fair amount of debt and no easy way to pay it off, which could be really painful if you don’t get into medical school in a timely manner. Additionally, some admissions committee’s might not like that you got into law school and then quit part way though…you’ll have to find a way to convince them the same thing won’t happen with med school.

Aside from the obvious like the Biology/Chemistry/Physics pre-reqs, it appears that the only thing missing from a potential med school app would be shadowing. They really want you to spend 10-100 hours (depending on the school) following physicians around and get at least some feel for what they do every day to make sure you know what you’re trying to get in to.

Thanks for your response and the advice, I’ll start looking into shadowing.

I’m definitely going to finish law school first, too much money and time spent to not get the J.D. haha.

I’m glad that I’m not completely amiss to begin with.